Cleveland City Board Of Education Approves 10 Percent Budget Cut; 2% Raises Eliminated

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - by Tony Eubank
Pictured from left to right are Dr. Martin Ringstaff, Board Chairman Tom Cloud and Peggy Pesterfield
Pictured from left to right are Dr. Martin Ringstaff, Board Chairman Tom Cloud and Peggy Pesterfield

The Cleveland City School Board on Monday, faced with lower revenues, approved a 10 percent cut in the upcoming 2014-2015 general fund budget.

Business Manager Brenda Carson said the adjustments are necessary because the incoming tax revenue is under what was projected, as the amount of sales and property tax collected is down this year. Director of Cleveland City Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff said, “Budgets are in trouble across the state.”

Dr. Ringstaff also said that, while cutting personnel is a last resort, he did inform system principals that if there is another bad year, that personnel reductions may have to come into play. The cuts to the budget also mean that the planned two percent across the board raise for the entire staff of Cleveland City Schools will be eliminated. Business Manager Carson said that these cuts are a must because if the budget is not balanced this year it will “create a snowball effect” and eventually spiral out of control.

Cleveland City Schools Technology Supervisor Andrew Phillips presented to the board a plan for a digital conversion pilot program. The program includes updating the existing technology infrastructure and the use of more digital content by having students and teachers make more use of laptops, tablets, and other devices.

Other aspects of the program include the purchase of digital textbooks and more professional development for the teachers involved.  Mr. Phillips stated that the digital content will still be backed up by books. Dr. Ringstaff added that textbooks are no longer the main teaching resource - that they are just one of many tools at a teacher's disposal, “Textbooks are no longer the driving force in the classroom,” said Dr, Ringstaff.

The program is being implemented in Cleveland Middle school’s social studies classes, as  next year is the year for new books in social studies and the classes under the social studies umbrella include a relatively small amount of classes when compared to math and language arts courses.

Several board members had questions about student access to the technology needed for the classes. Mr.  Phillips said the school has already purchased two computer carts with funds provided by a Race to the Top grant, and officials intend to purchase new computers every year in order to prepare for future needs. Dr. Ringstaff said, “I’m fully behind this, I think it’s time to jump off the diving board into the future.”

The Board approved the pilot program, along with a proposal to build some additional security fencing around Cleveland Middle school.

The board also received an update from Brian Templeton of the Upland Design Group, on the new gym project. Mr. Templeton announced that phase one is right on track and that the second phase should begin on schedule. Mr. Templeton said that he has completed the design and it has been approved by the fire marshal. There will also be a mandatory meeting held on Thursday for interested contractors to take a look at the site and ask questions about the project. This will be followed by open bidding on May 1. The board also approved paying $36,607.90 to Upland Design Group for its work on the new elementary school project. 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, ADEN M 730 EAST AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411 28 Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ASLINGER, JEFFERY JAMES 1504 GREEN POND ROAD SODDY DAISY, 37379 44 Soddy Daisy DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BATES, JOE EDWARD 2472 ELLA DR CLEVELAND, 37323 20 ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Dec. 12-18

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Dec. 12-18: Marshall George Wilson, 53, of 75 Pineridge Drive, Rossville was arrested December 17 on charges of child molestation, rape and aggravated sodomy.   Stephon Q. Bishop, 19, of 122 Lilac Lane, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested December 12 on a probation violation. Anthony Lynn Duckett, 32, of 92 Breezy Trail, ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)

Red Bank Falls To Riverdale, 77-64, In Rhea Tournament

 EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Red Bank basketball coach Nick Fike has a method to his madness. Fike has the Lions playing in this week’s Hoops Holiday Tournament at Rhea County High School and also will guide them in the Sonic Shootout at White County on Dec. 27 and 29-30. “It’s all about getting ready for the district (6-AA) tournament,” Fike said Friday night after the Lions ... (click for more)

McCallie, Cleveland lead McCallie Mat Tourney

Two former McCallie Invitational champs - host McCallie and Cleveland - are one-two in the team standings, respectively, and head into Saturday morning with a combined 13 wrestlers in the championship semifinals. McCallie, who last won this tourney in 2010 has seven wrestlers in the semis, while the Blue Raiders captured the inaugural event in 1981 under former head ... (click for more)